December & November 2008: Birth Control

'Contraceptive Pill is Outdated and Does Not Work Well', Expert Warns $68.7 Million Paid in Out-Of-Court Settlements by Contraceptive Patch Manufacturer… 'Contraceptive Pill is outdated and does not work well', expert warns The contraceptive Pill is outdated and leading to unwanted pregnancies and abortion as few women take it correctly, a leading expert said.  One in 12 women taking the Pill get pregnant each year because they miss so many tablets, Prof James Trussell, of Princeton University in America warned. Women should instead use longer-lasting methods such as the implant or intra-uterine device (IUD) which can be fitted and forgotten, he said. Half of all pregnancies in America are unintended and half of those happen because contraception failed or was not taken properly, the rest were not using any contraception. No UK studies have ever been carried out but the rates are thought to be similar. Half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. Prof Trussell was speaking at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference in London and said few GPs offer long acting reversible contraceptives or are trained at fitting them, so most women end up using the Pill by default. Also sexual health clinics where the methods are available are being closed down, either because of financial deficits in the NHS or just because it is a low priority, Prof Trussell said. He said: "The Pill is an outdated method because it does not work well enough. It is very difficult for ordinary women to take a pill every single day. The beauty of the implant or the IUD is that you can forget about them." He said...

Interview on Natural Family Planning and Contraception (2008)

Interview with World's Leading Proponent of Natural Family Planning on the Dangers of Contraception In an excusive interview, Mercedes Wilson, founder and President of the Natural Family Planning organization, Family for the Americas, explained the negative effects contraception has on a woman's body and on a couple's marriage.  She also described Family for the Americas' mission to spread knowledge of NFP to the poor, and confirmed that when practiced properly, it is 99 percent effective.  Her organization has taught millions in over 100 nations and in 20 different languages about NFP, not only by teaching people how to practice it, but also how to themselves become teachers of NFP. Q:  How does your organization carry out its mission to spread awareness and knowledge of NFP? A:  Our main work for the last 10-15 years has been training new teachers. We have developed the most comprehensive training manual for training teachers. We do this all over the world, including the U.S., the developing world, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, including China.  We train by using CD ROMs and videos, but we believe the most useful tools are the simplest materials, and that is why our book has been published in 21 languages.  We have training manuals and posters, because many times the poor countries don't have electricity.  Our systems of posters teach the whole method for women undergoing every situation of the reproductive life, from fertility to pre-menopause. Q: Which types of birth control methods do you find the people who come to you are using the most and what are the dangers associated with these? A:  It depends...

The Patch

Federal health officials approved the sale of the world's first contraceptive patch in November 2001. Ortho-Evra emits through the skin low doses of the same hormones used in birth control pills — but requires women to remember to use it weekly, instead of daily like a pill.   It may not work as well for women who weigh more than 198 pounds. Manufacturer Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals said the patch would begin selling in 2002, by prescription only. The price will be similar to birth control pills, which cost about $40 a month.  Risks may include irritation at patch site. Otherwise, the same as birth control pills: short-term side effects such as nausea and breast tenderness; rare risks of blood clots, heart attack and stroke, especially among smokers.  The long-term effects of these hormones on the body, especially when begun as a teenager, are still not fully understood. In clinical trials that gave 3,319 women the patch for varying lengths of time, 15 got pregnant. It will begin selling next year. In studies, about 5 percent of women had at least one patch that slipped off. The patch delivers continuous low levels of estrogen and progestin, the same hormones found in birth control pills, to prevent ovulation.  The main action of the Patch is to inhibit ovulation, alter the cervical mucus, and to alter the uterine endometrium. This third action could cause the early abortion of a human embryo attempting to implant in the endometrium. [2001] Fatalities Blamed On Birth Control Patch Kathleen T's family gathered around her in the intensive care unit… The 25-year-old mother of three died last fall after...